Ak Fauzi Pg Salleh
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
Thursday, March 8, 2012
IT WAS Captain Fantastic who came to the rescue for Indonesia yesterday as he inspired his country to a 2-0 win over Vietnam to book a berth in the Hassanal Bolkiah Trophy final against Brunei tomorrow.
Andik Vermansah showed why he was elected skipper for his team by playing a hand in both of Indonesia's goals in yesterday's semi-final at the Hassanal Bolkiah National Stadium in Berakas.
Both teams were evenly match from kick off, each trying to assert dominance and eager to score early on.
Miko Ardiyanto was the first to find the back of the net.
He managed to slip in front of Vietnam's goal keeper to head the ball into the goal following a superb cross by Andik in the 36th minute.
The second half saw Indonesia take control of the game.
Vietnam still had their moments but excellent defending by the Indonesians stifled any offensive momentum that their opponents had.
Andik doubled Indonesia's lead in the 70th minute when he cleverly dribbled past two defenders and slotted the ball into the right corner of the goal to make it 2-0.
Indonesia did not let up despite their lead.
They had the chance to further increase their lead in the 82th minute when Andik found himself in a one-on-one situation from the midfield just to see his shot fly over the bar.
Irvan Eric, a team official from Indonesia was impressed with the team's performance.
"I have seen all the games so far, and in the semi-final it is always a special game. You sometimes see players play better than they normally do because it is only one game, and our boys played very well tonight," he said.
"From what I have seen, Brunei has performed very well... Brunei look very confident," he added.
Indonesia assistant coach Liestiadi Lo, meanwhile, highlighted the importance of team work in last night's 2-0 victory.
"We are not thinking of the opponent (Brunei) that we will be facing in the final, we just going to focus on ourselves to prepare us in the final. We are satisfied with the players' performance tonight, they worked very hard in the game and they really deserved to win," he said.
"People are talking about Andik being the key player for us in this tournament but I think all players are important in this team," he added.
Vietnam assistant coach Pham Nhu Thuan, meanwhile, said they just could not keep up with their opponents' fitness.
"We had three to four players out with injury and our fitness was not at 100 per cent. Our young team of Under-19s were just not strong enough to beat Indonesia. They had very good fitness," said Nhu Thuan.
"It was also difficult because it was very hot. Our previous matches were played at night and the players didnt have enough concentration. But this experience is still good for our future," he added.
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